What is a urostomy?
Urostomy surgery is performed when a person cannot naturally pass urine from the bladder to the urethra. A urostomy may be necessary if a person has a urethral obstruction, bladder cancer, experiences chronic UTIs, etc. A small opening on the abdomen, called a stoma, is created by a surgeon and that is where urine will drain from.
What is a urostomy bag?
A urostomy bag is a pouch that is worn on the abdomen to collect the urine that drains from your stoma. The urostomy bag has a spout at the bottom that allows you to empty the pouch as needed.
Urostomy bags are available in several different styles including 1-piece, 2-piece, pre-cut, and cut-to-fit. You can also choose from a flat or convex ostomy wafer. A urostomy pouch can be made from opaque or transparent materials. Each type of urostomy bag provides various benefits. We recommend trying different styles to figure out which is best for you and your needs.
One-piece urostomy bags have a flange permanently attached to the pouch. They are ready to use right out of the box and do not require you to connect the flange to the bag. One-piece urostomy pouches tend to have a lower profile, making them less noticeable under clothing. When it is time to change your bag, the entire appliance will need to be removed and a new one is then applied. Two-piece urostomy bags mean that the pouch and flange are not connected to one another. You will need to purchase these supplies separately. Two-piece ostomy pouches can be more bulky than a one-piece, but the benefit is that you can change your urostomy bag without having to remove the skin barrier. This means that you will not be putting your stomal skin through as much stress.
Pre-cut urostomy pouches come with a round hole in the flange that the stoma goes through. There are several sizes available and no cutting is required before application. This type of ostomy wafer is best for people whose stoma is symmetrical. Typically the stoma will change size and shape following surgery, so pre-cut flanges are more ideal for people who are completely healed. A cut-to-fit urostomy bag has a wafer with a small hole in the center. You can then cut the hole further into any shape and size needed. Cut-to-fit wafers work well for people who have an irregular-shaped stoma or for new ostomates.
Another option you have when it comes to ostomy wafers is a flat or convex shape. A flat ostomy wafer sits flush against the skin. They are flexible and move with your body. This type of wafer is best suited for people whose stoma sticks out away from their abdomen. A convex ostomy wafer curves inward towards the body. These are great for ostomates with a flat or retracted stoma. It puts gentle pressure against the stoma to help it protrude, allowing output to drain into the ostomy pouch properly.
Urostomy bags can be made from various materials in different opacities. Opaque pouches are typically beige in color and hide the contents of your urostomy bag. They are typically made from a more flexible, cloth-like material. Many people prefer opaque bags when their pouch will be exposed, like while swimming or during intimate moments. Transparent urostomy pouches allow you to monitor the condition of your urine as well as the stoma if need be. This material can tend to be more rigid or plastic feeling. Express Medical Supply also sells urostomy bags that are opaque on the back and transparent on the front. The benefit of these pouches is that they are comfortable and soft against your skin while still allowing your to keep an eye on your stoma and output. Coloplast Sensura Mio pouches are made from a unique light gray material that feels like fabric. This neutral color is inconspicuous under clothing on nearly any skin tone.